Scalably streamlining payments around the globe

LafargeHolcim

LafargeHolcim streamlines bank communications with Fides

LafargeHolcim

Branch
Building Materials
Employees
70,000
Implemented solutions

Business Need

LafargeHolcim does business across more than 70 markets in both developed and emerging countries. The building materials giant needed a way to aggregate data and streamline payments in a secure and costeffective way while ensuring compliance with global and regional regulations.

Products, Solutions & Services

  • Fides Multibanking Suite
  • Hybrid Service Bureau
  • SWIFT Service Bureau
  • Reporting
  • Payments
  • Compliance

Benefits

  • Structured onboarding of new banks and accounts
  • Reduced risk of fraud
  • Cost-effective support for multichannel connectivity and transactions

About LafargeHolcim

As the world’s global leader in building solutions, LafargeHolcim is reinventing how the world builds to make it greener and smarter for all. On its way to becoming a net zero company, LafargeHolcim offers global solutions such as ECOPact, enabling carbonneutral construction. With its circular business model, the company is a global leader in recycling waste as a source of energy and raw materials through products like Susteno, its leading circular cement. Innovation and digitalization are at the core of the company’s strategy, with more than half of its R&D projects dedicated to greener solutions. LafargeHolcim’s 70,000 employees are committed to improving quality of life across more than 70 markets through its four business segments: Cement, Ready-Mix Concrete, Aggregates and Solutions & Products.

LafargeHolcim’s Business Need

LafargeHolcim does business in more than 70 markets in both developed and emerging countries.To ensure the most efficient and cost-effective bank transfers, LafargeHolcim has multiple types of bank connections — SWIFT for low-frequency but highly important payments, and host-to-host or EBICS for mass payments depending on the bank. Aggregating data from all of these connections, and ensuring compliance with global and regional regulations was challenging.

Solution

Fides had already been implemented at the company’s legacy Holcim holding structure level, and the treasury management team soon realized they could utilize the bank connectivity solutions on a larger scale.

Kamil Jellonek, Treasury Systems Administrator / Project Manager, Corporate Finance and Treasury, says that the capability of using SWIFT for exchanging payment instructions with smaller banks all over the world, and the cost of connection maintenance as the company continues to grow and onboard more banks were two key differentiators for LafargeHolcim choosing to expand its use of Fides.

Secure global service from a trusted provider

Initially, the team leveraged the Fides Multibanking Suite to access centralized bank information and execute payments. Head Group Treasury Markus Unternährer says that the secure web portal allowed the team to manage the access of treasury and finance staff in offices around the globe.

Unternährer says another reason that LafargeHolcim chose Fides over other solution providers is the multibank connectivity provider’s relationship with Credit Suisse. Credit Suisse is one of LafargeHolcim’s relationship banks, giving the company the assurance that the quality of service from wholly-owned subsidiary Fides would be at the highest possible level.

But most important at the time for LafargeHolcim’s treasury was Fides’ unique dual-BIC, hybrid connectivity model. Not only could Fides support the variety of banking channels the company wanted to implement, LafargeHolcim could also use the SWIFT network through the Fides BIC, rather than having to have its own corporate BIC.

"Bank requirements are often unique. That requires a lot of coordination. We benefit from the experience that Fides has gained from other customers, and having a Fides project manager between us and the banks.”
Markus Unternährer, Head Group Treasury, LafargeHolcim

TMS and ERP connectivity to power expansion

After the merger, a number of things changed for treasury — but Fides remains a constant, helping to ensure bank communications are smooth and secure.

Lafarge brought its own SWIFT BIC to the new entity, giving LafargeHolcim the option to slowly switch over while still using the Fides BIC. Jellonek says that as the Group continues to grow, Fides will be tapped to manage the new BIC.

The company also connected Fides to an SAP TMS and SAP ERP. Now, the payment approval process is managed within SAP, and seamlessly connects to Fides to execute the bank transfers.

Sanction screening

“Sanctions screening is an important element for a treasury organization of our size and geographical split. Having it included in Fides’ services is a pure benefit, as otherwise we would incur additional costs and need expertise to build, implement and manage it. ”
Markus Unternährer, Head Group Treasury, LafargeHolcim

While not initially one of the reasons the company selected Fides, sanctions screening has become a larger-than-anticipated benefit. This is a value-add service that Fides provides, which LafargeHolcim has found useful for compliance as well as fraud and risk mitigation.

Fides also offers conversion services, to translate the various bank messages into the formats needed for intake by various banks and back-end systems. While LafargeHolcim currently doesn’t have a need for this service, Unternährer says that the capability is one of the important advantages of Fides as compared to other service bureaus.

About Fides

Fides is the world leader in multibank connectivity, payments and transaction communications. A market leader for more than a century, Fides is committed to making financial operations as efficient, transparent and secure as possible for all organizations. More than 3,500 clients rely on Fides for efficient cash and liquidity management, through connectivity to more than 13,000 banks and comprehensive workflow, reporting, conversion, validation and security services. Whether you access via the secure Fides Multibanking Suite or leverage our seamless integration with third-party ERP, TMS and other backend systems, Fides is the only platform you need.

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